5 actions for career acceleration model for university and college career services


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5 actions for career acceleration model for university and college career services

  1. 1. 5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services A dynamic value-added model for University/College Career Services, designed to empower students and recent graduates with increased actionable control and influence towards a meaningful career. White Paper by: Dana E. Jarvis, MPA, MSW Professor * Consultant * Author July 27, 20115 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 0
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Increasingly, Career Services at universities and colleges around our country are faced with significant challenges towards placing students into jobs, let alone meaningful careers. These challenges include a highly competitive workforce, limited job growth and high unemployment. These challenges produce anxiety and stress for student job seekers and recent graduates, which directly impact the mission of Career Services. It is true that Career Services provides traditional services, including career discovery assessments, resume writing workshops, interview skills training and professional networking development, among others. It is also true that based upon research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), only 43.5% of graduates in 2009 had a job upon graduate and only 63.7% had a job 6-7 months later. While these percentages likely vary from one school to the next, the reality is that if a university or college is not placing 100% of students into a meaningful career or graduate school, then there is room for improvement. This 100% perspective can be considered “The End Goal” within which all Career Services should strive to achieve on a consistent basis. In an effort to leverage opportunities for University and College Career Services to achieve “The End Goal”, the focus must be on centering increased control and influence in the hands of students and recent graduates, along with the traditional services offered. By putting enhanced control and influence in the hands of the people who will be directly impacted, it creates a heightened sense of purpose and incremental achievement. In the process, the conversations between students and recent graduates with Career Services will be elevated because all of these key stakeholders will be engaged in a dynamic model to accelerate career success. This model will produce purposeful and genuine results when it is appropriately applied and executed. And, most importantly, it will give students and recent graduates strengthened competencies for having control and influence over their personal career development, which will be enhanced via continued Career Services programs and services. Traditional services to assist students and recent graduates with job acquisition are important. It is also important to continually find innovations to increase goal attainment, in this case, measured by student and recent graduate job placement into meaningful careers. The 5 Actions for Career Acceleration is a strategic innovation, designed specifically for students and recent graduates working with Career Services at universities and colleges. This web-based tool contains a specific path with sustained knowledge, skills and competency developments to position students and recent graduates for a meaningful career. Utilizing the “e-Xpertise” action steps, users gain firsthand experiences which can be readily applied toward meaningful career development. The anchor within this model is “meaningful career development” because it is one thing to simply have a “job” but quite another to have a meaningful career that is consistently engaging over time. In addition, the 5 Actions for Career Acceleration web-based tool contains Strategic Assessments, Action Workouts, Scorecard, Progress Tracker, Blog, Lessons Learned Database, Training Videos, Interactive Discussion Board, FAQs, Think Tank and Critical Insights Journaling by Career Services Professions, among other dynamic tools. When this tool is aligned with the resources available at Career Services, the impact is significant and measurable. With an innovative and meaningful career development tool at their side, Career Services can now enhance their engagement with students and recent graduates. In the process, a win-win is created with increased meaningful career placement, benefiting the student or recent graduate and the Career Services at universities and colleges around the country.5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 1
  3. 3. KEY FINDINGS OF THE NACE’S 2010-2011 CAREER SERVICES BENCHMARK SURVEY The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) contain a major focus on University and College Career Services across the U.S. and the world. The NACE’s 2010-2011 Career Services Benchmark Survey resulted in a study of 750 career centers. One of the main areas respondents were surveyed on was their primary services. The following table provides a breakdown of the service offerings by the percent of Career Center respondents that utilize the offering. Career Services Offerings Percent of Respondents that Utilize Counseling by Appointment 99.4% Workshops 92.2% Career Resource Library 95.5% Assistance with Employer-Provided Internships 95.3% Sponsors Career Fairs 91.5% Utilizes Career Assessment Tools 90.5% Drop-In Counseling 84.5% Online Counseling 68.5% Assistance with Academic Internships 76.1% On-Campus Interviewing 72.2% Outreach Services to Alumni 63.6% Specialized Career Fairs 54.8% The service offerings by Career Services are designed to find a fit between a student and a career. In this way, Career Services Professionals engage in discussions with students, seeking to fundamentally understand the student’s career needs and align those needs with an available job. Important data generated from the NACE Benchmark Survey includes the percent of students who achieved a job upon graduation and those that achieve a job six to seven months after graduation, as evidenced in Figure 1. Another critical area detailed in the NACE Benchmark Survey is the types of technologies most commonly used by Career Services, noted in Figure 2. In order for the career service offerings noted above to leverage opportunities for student job placements, the supporting technology can be invaluable. Along with more traditional strategies including a website with job postings and interview scheduling, there is a trend toward increase social media. In today’s Career Services, the utilization of Facebook and Twitter have become solid tools within which to advance the goal of aligning students with their careers.5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 2
  4. 4. SITUATION ANALYSIS Career Services plays an integral role within universities and colleges. The ability of Career Services to deliver on their missions can be extremely meaningful to their students, recent graduates and Alumni. In the process, when careers are achieved, advancements are made in organizations within the public, private and nonprofit sectors. In short, when the mission of Career Services is achieved, it produces an amazing transference of knowledge, skills and tools, which adds value to the collective good. A review of Career Services mission statements establishes a number of central themes, detailed in Figure 3. On the one hand it is clear that University Career Services provide a significant number of programs and services, grounded in mission-focused common themes, which place students and alumni at the center. These services provide excellent opportunities for students and alumni to discover an engaging career path. On the other hand, based on the NACE Study (Figure 1) in 2009, only 43.5% of students had a job at graduation and only 63.7% of recent graduates had a job within 6-7 months. Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by Career Services is the fact that our nation has been in a down economy for years. Since May of 2009, unemployment has been over 9% (http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate& tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment+rate, as retrieved on July 23, 2011). In addition, job growth has in many ways stalled and increasingly the competition for even entry level positions can be immense. This likely provides some explanation for the lower number of students and recent graduates with positions. The ability of a student or recent graduate to attain a position in a career of their choice comes down to their level of motivation, utilization of Career Services, professional networking, quality of resume, competency in interview skills and overall fit with the position. In other words, while some areas are within a person’s control (e.g. motivation), many others are outside a person’s control (e.g. fit with the position, interpretation of resume). This leads us to the conclusion that if a student or recent graduate increases their areas of control and influence towards their career development, then they will significantly leverage opportunities for career success (Figure 4).5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 3
  5. 5. 5 ACTIONS FOR CAREER ACCELERATION  What if your Career Services could have over a 30% job placement increase?  What if over 80% of your students gained a career of meaning and purpose?  What would it take to have a 100% quality job placement rate for your Career Services? The driving questions above align with the challenges and opportunities associated with University and College Career Services. It is evident from the above “Key Findings of the NACE’s 2010-2011 Career Services Benchmark Survey” and the “Situation Analysis” that, while the mission, programs and services of Career Services are meaningful, job placement rates lag behind, despite advancements in technology utilization. In order to create more opportunities where students and recent graduates have more control and influence within their career development, the 5 Actions for Career Acceleration is a model for success. Through this model, University and College Career Services can provide students and recent graduates with a solid tool that puts more control and influence within their hands to fulfill their potential and apply their talents within a meaningful career. The 5 Actions for Career Acceleration place more of an emphasis on the areas of control and influence for the student or recent graduate. This proactive approach is student-centric, while positioning Career Services as an integral part of the career development experience. This model is a tool and resource that adds supportive value to the programs and services already in place within Career Services. As such, students and recent graduates can utilize the web-based 5 Actions for Career Acceleration application in a customized manner that truly leverages unique opportunities for career success. The fundamental elements of the model include: 1. Identify Area of e-Xpertise – The student determines an area of insight, interest, strength and ideas aligned with potential career. 2. Create the “One-Pager” – The student creates a one page brief that outlines e-Xpertise. 3. Launch e-Xpertise on Blog – The student develops a Blog that focuses on e-Xpertise. 4. Migrate e-Xpertise into “Lunch & Learns” – Brief presentations to targeted stakeholders within the student’s career focus, which can be virtual or face-to-face. 5. Leverage Network via LinkedIn – Strategic approach toward increasing career opportunities within LinkedIn; the #1 professional networking tool available.5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 4
  6. 6. One of the core strengths of the 5 Actions for Career Acceleration model is that it is a web- based tool with an integrated and dynamic approach towards advancing student and recent graduate career acceleration. The tools within this model are highlighted below. 5 Actions for Career Acceleration – Highlights of Web-Based Tools Identify Area Create the Launch Migrate Leverage Network of “One-Pager” e-Xpertise on e-Xpertise into “Lunch via LinkedIn e-Xpertise Blog & Learns”  Comprehensive e-Xpertise Development and Implementation Guide  e-Xpertise Strategic Assessment and Action Workouts  e-Xpertise “One-Pager” Brain Storming Sheets with Deployment Sequence  e-Xpertise Translation and Integration within a Unique Blog  e-Xpertise “Lunch & Learn” Creation and Tactical Approach  Integrated LinkedIn Presence with Enhanced Career Positioning  Career Acceleration Scorecard and Progress Tracker  FAQs within Each Section of the Model  Shared Stories of Students and Recent Graduates Utilizing the Model  The 5 Actions for Career Acceleration Blog  Best Practices and Lessons Learned Interactive Database  Simulated Videos Applying Knowledge, Skills and Tools from the 5 Actions Model  Interactive Discussion Board with “Dear Career-Accelerator”  Think Tank Focused on Continuous Improvement of Career Engagement  Critical Insights Journaling by Career Services Professionals Ultimately, the 5 Actions for Career Acceleration (5ACA) in the words of Stephen Covey, presents a “win-win-win”. As students and recent graduates gain a greater sense of career within areas of their strengths, interests and passion, it produces a win. Another win is created for University and College Career Services as opportunities are leveraged for increased job placement, career development conversations and overall student/alumni engagement. The final win is generated for the University or College as a whole, as a strengthened Career Services Center can become a source of competitive advantage. In building on these “wins”, some of the benefits of the 5ACA model are highlighted in the following table. 5 Actions for Career Acceleration (5ACA) Benefits for Students and Alumni Benefits for University Career Services  Increased Career Control and Influence  Improved Job Opportunity Placement  Strengthened Career Focus  Added Value to Mission and Goals  Elevated Professional Network  Augmented Services with 5ACA Tool  Applied Skills with Target Career Market  Elevated Career Conversations  Integrated Career Advancement Model  Innovative Career Stretching Approach  Interactive Career Discussions  Advancements in Service Offering  Advanced Professional Brand  Energized Best Practice Sharing The 5 Actions for Career Acceleration provides an amazing opportunity for the Career Services at Universities and Colleges around the country to significantly add value to their mission, while putting increased initiative, control and influence within the hands of students and alumni.5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 5
  7. 7. AUTHOR BRIEF BIOGRAPHY AND CONTACT INFORMATION Dana E. Jarvis, MPA, MSW, is an Organizational Effectiveness Leader with significant experience analyzing and building employee engagement initiatives. He has served as the Human Resource Director for multimillion dollar organizations, creating corporate universities, leadership programs and performance management systems. In the capacity of Manager of Project Services, Dana led consulting projects for Fortune 500 companies, as well as large public sector and nonprofit organizations. Projects included market analysis studies, supervisor training program, shared services study, strategic planning initiatives and multiple employee performance and assessment initiatives. Building on his professional experience, Dana currently serves as a Visiting Instructor at the Palumbo * Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University. He has also taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Ottawa University and Stephens College. Along his teaching journey, Dana has developed and/or taught courses in virtual teams, management, assessment, business, ethics, strategy, change and leadership, among others. He is a Former United States Marine with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Allegheny College, Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work, both achieved at the University of Pittsburgh. Dana is an international speaker and author of 7 Essentials for Managing Virtual Teams (University Readers, 2010). His book is based upon a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, interviews with virtual team professionals and firsthand experience working on virtual teams for years. In 2010, Dana presented on his virtual team model to the largest Human Resource association in Canada; Human Resource Professionals Association. Recognizing the importance of making a difference in the community, Dana has served on a variety of nonprofit Board of Directors, including the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP), Auberle, North Hills Youth Ministry Counseling Center, Winter’s Haven, Inc. with current service for the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania. Dana and his family reside in Pittsburgh, PA, where they enjoy sports, museums and cultural happenings. Dana E. Jarvis, MPA, MSW Visiting Instructor Duquesne University Palumbo * Donahue School of Business 464 Rockwell Hall 600 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15282 jarvisd@duq.edu djarv4@gmail.com 412.396.1907 (w) 412.855.5369 (c) www.danajarvis.org www.linkedin.com/in/danajarvis5 Actions for Career Acceleration: A Model for University and College Career Services Page 6